Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Kremlin: Putin, CIA chief discuss ‘regional conflict’

The Kremlin said on Monday that Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed regional conflicts and the crisis in relations with the head of the US Central Intelligence Agency, who made a rare visit to Moscow last week.

CIA chief William Burns was in Russia for a two-day meeting with top officials at the request of President Joe Biden, the US embassy has said.

CNN reported last week that Burns was sent to Moscow to warn the Kremlin about an alleged build-up of troops near the border with Ukraine. It said that after their meetings in Russia, Burns spoke to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky by phone.

A Kremlin spokesman said on Monday that Putin and Burns discussed bilateral ties, “regional conflicts” and the crisis in diplomatic ties. He did not provide any further details.

Burns, who was the US ambassador to Russia from 2005–2008, visited Moscow during a serious crisis in relations between Moscow and Washington.

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Biden has increased pressure on Putin since becoming US president in January. In May, Russia formally designated the United States an “unfriendly state”.

The Pentagon said last week it was closely monitoring the situation in Ukraine amid reports of a new build-up of Russian troops along the country’s border.

Publicly, Ukraine has denied reports of the creation of a new Russian army.

The Ukrainian military is locked in a fierce conflict with pro-Russian separatists, who have erupted after Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.

Russia gathered around 100,000 troops along Ukraine’s borders in the spring, raising fears of a major escalation, following an escalation in violence earlier this year. Under pressure from Kiev’s Western allies, Moscow subsequently announced a pullback.

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This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

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